The embarrassing sign at our gas stations

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Al-Jazirah

PAY in advance. This is the sign that welcomes motorists at some of our gas stations these days.

No doubt, this is the worst sign that anyone might come across at gas stations anywhere. It gives a bad impression of the social behavior of our drivers.

A foreign visitor to our country will be surprised by this sign and may not understand the reasons why it was put up on the walls of our gas stations.

In the past, gas station workers used to place rocks near the pumps to throw at motorists who speed off without paying after refueling. Now we have these signs displayed at gas stations.

I assume that this is a result of teenage behavior. Some of them fill up their cars and then escape without paying. This type of behavior is happening almost in all societies. There are ways to deal with such behavior without hanging a sign that embarrasses everyone.

In all gas stations around the world, there are safety signs displayed for drivers on steps that need to be taken while refilling gas, such as turning the engine off, not smoking and so on. In most of our gas stations, such signs are not displayed anymore and replaced with one sign only, «Pay in advance».

This indicates that money is more important than life and safety of people. In my understanding, this is the result of a lack of supervision on the part of responsible officials at the municipality and the Civil Defense.

We all have seen the disappearance of safety signs, which are replaced by «pay in advance» signs. I wish if the responsible authorities would conduct field inspections in all gas stations and correct the situation.

«Pay in advance» is a business method that aims at ensuring the rights of both the buyer and seller. It is practiced in all fast food restaurants and in most international sales points without anyone objecting to it. But the way it is practiced at the gas stations is negative. To replace safety signs with the «pay in advance» sign is unacceptable. The safety of people comes first and then find another way to ensure the payment. They can even display the «pay in advance» sign next to the safety signs. In any case, we do not need to send negative messages to society.


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